5 Simples Ways to Protect Yourself from Air Pollution

Updated on 18 August 2022

High levels of Air pollution, which is the presence of harmful substances in the atmosphere, in the form of smog, soot and greenhouse gases, can cause a number of short-term or chronic illnesses. These may range from eye and lung irritation to blood, liver, immune, endocrine, nervous and reproductive systems disorders.  If not treated in time it may also lead to cancer, bronchitis, heart attacks, asthma and other extremely serious illnesses. Hence, it is exceedingly crucial that we protect ourselves from air pollution.

Five Ways To Protect Yourself from Air-pollution

Here are 5 simple ways to do that,

1. Wear Masks

In situations where you cannot refrain from leaving the house or an indoor area, always use a mask to protect yourself from air pollutants like PM2.5 or Fine Particulate Matter, which is an extremely toxic air pollutant that poses health risks when inhaled. You can choose from N-rated, P-rated and R-rated masks. The basic N-95 mask can filter up to 95% of the PM2.5, and similarly, the N-99 and N-100 can filter up to 99% and 100% of the various air pollutants respectively.

2. Use Air Purifiers

Experts say that the air inside your house or indoor working space also contains traces of air pollutants and hence is important to purify. Installing a good quality air purifier can help filter the polluted air. A mechanical or gas phase filter may be a good choice as certain UV filters are ineffective against particulate matter. Planting air-purifying plants like Aloe Vera, Ivy and Spider Plant to purify indoor air is also a good and commonly suggested idea.

3. Keep Awareness

It is important to periodically check the weather forecast and the Air Quality Index (AQI), which is a daily measure of air quality on a scale of 0-500. The AQI values are categorized into 6: Good (0-50), Satisfactory (51-100), Moderately Polluted (101-200), Poor (201-300), Very Poor (301-400) and Severe (401-500). Plan your outings according to the AQI levels, while avoiding high-traffic areas. Restrict outdoor activities for children under 8 years. Also, as a precautionary measure, regularly taking steam with eucalyptus oil and maintaining a regular exercise regime is advisable. And of course, do your part to help reduce pollution – use carpools, limit the number of trips, use local transport alternatives, avoid burning leaves, trash and other materials and reduce the use of fireplaces.

4. Diet

Inhaling polluted air increases free radicals in our bodies and causes inflammation. Hence, we can help our bodies fight the negative effects of air pollutants by increasing our antioxidant-rich and anti-inflammatory food intake. Increasing daily intake of Vitamin B, C, D, E, and Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFA) is very helpful. It is recommended to eat foods like olives, leafy greens, citrus fruits, sprouts, fish, jaggery, ginger and tulsi amongst others.

5. Planting Trees

Planting more trees and plants is our ultimate protection against air pollution. Trees filter and clean the air off of harmful air pollutants, and they can also store up to 6 kilograms of carbon every year, hence improving overall air quality for all and decreasing the exponential increase in global warming rates.






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